Bridge

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Love all; dealer West

North

47 3

!10 9 7 6 3

#8 3 2

2K 4 2

West East

4J 4 2 48 5

!8 5 2 !A K Q J

#K Q J 10 7 5 4 #6

2none 2Q J 10 8 7 5

South

4A K Q 10 9 6

!4

#A 9

2A 9 6 3

This was a neatly played hand from last year's Camrose match between England and Northern Ireland. A tiny defensive slip, although not costing a trick directly, let declarer get the timing just right.

At one table, West inexplicably passed as dealer - his hand looked to be a routine pre-emptive bid - and East opened 12. South (David Johnson of Ireland) doubled and West (still ultra-cautious) contented himself with 1#. North bid 1!, East rebid his clubs, and South bid a practical 3NT.

Finally, West came out of the woodwork with 4#. A double would have collected only 100 points, so South now tried 44. West led #K , declarer won, drew trumps and exited with his heart. East won and switched to 2Q. This was allowed to hold and now declarer was back in business.

Unable to play a second club safely, East led a second heart on which South discarded his losing diamond. Now the timing was perfect for a squeeze: declarer ruffed the next heart lead and cashed his remaining trumps, forcing East to unguard either clubs or hearts. An immediate second heart from East, followed by a third if declarer discards and an eventual club switch if he discards again would have finished South's chances.

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